04:37 GMT +324 October 2018
Listen Live
    World

    U.S. announces at least $43 billion in Mideast arms aid

    World
    Get short URL
    0 0 0

    The U.S. offered huge defense assistance deals to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies Monday that could total $50 billion over the next 10 years.

    WASHINGTON, July 30 (RIA Novosti) - The U.S. offered huge defense assistance deals to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Gulf allies Monday that could total $50 billion over the next 10 years.

    In an effort to "help bolster forces of moderation and support a broader strategy to counter the negative influences of al Qaeda, Hezbollah, Syria and Iran," Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice said in a statement as she announced the plan, the U.S. will provide $30 billion in military aid to Israel, $13 billion to Egypt, and smaller amounts to other Gulf allies.

    The exact amount for Saudi Arabia has yet to be determined.

    Shortly after the announcement, Rice said, she would join Defense Secretary Robert Gates on a trip to Egypt and Saudi Arabia to seek their help in stabilizing Iraq.

    "Further modernizing the Egyptian and Saudi armed forces and increasing interoperability will bolster our partners' resolve in confronting the threat of radicalism and cement their respective roles as regional leaders in the quest for Middle East peace and in ensuring Lebanon's freedom and independence," Rice said.

    She also said U.S. President George W. Bush was poised to send Undersecretary of State Nicholas Burns to the Middle East in mid-August to "finalize these deals."

    All deals have yet to be approved by Congress. Tom Lantos, a California Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, said the legislature would broadly agree to the proposal, which, according to U.S. media, may include JDAM 1-ton satellite-guided bombs, laser-guided bombs, Patriot SAM systems, and advanced warships.

    However, Lantos said, the deal should come with strings attached, to safeguard Israel from possible future misuse of the advanced weaponry by Arab nations, including a ban on stockpiling the weapons near Israeli borders.

    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik
    • Сomment